Illinois Rivers Fishing Report – January 22nd, 2016
Fox River: The conditions remained dangerous in some areas due to high water and flooding. Where fishing was possible, the walleye bite was slow. Use minnow baits in the deeper holes and near bridge pilings. Night fishing has proven to be most effective. Jigs and twisters in white or chartreuse are being productive.
The catfish bite slowed as the fish went into their wintering holes. Smaller baits with a lot of scent are best. Cut shad or minnows fished near the deeper holes.
Smallmouth fishing was also very slow, but if you can find a warm-water discharge, you are likely to find some good fish in the area. Live bait this time of year is a key advantage.
Bass action can be very good this time of year if you find some of the warm-water discharges that are up and down the river. Fishing live minnows with a medium hook and a few split shot in the current can really produce some nice fish. Remember to bundle up and be cautious. Structure is key. Look for the bridge pilings or wood that would warm up first.
Fish are being taken near the dams as well on jig and minnow combinations. Be careful out there as the river is unpredictable and the current is getting strong with the recent rains and the draw down of the Chain.
Illinois River: Walleye and saugers are slow. Jigs with live bait and trolling three-way rigs have been most effective. The fish are being found on the flats that are created in the inside river bends.
The white bass bite is also picking up with bladebaits.
Rock River: Water has been very high and caution is advised. Many access points were compromised due to flooding.
Anglers who did get on the river report good catches of channel cats and carp. Some bluegills caught on worms and jigs.
River Fishing Rules
Illinois-Iowa: Officers of Illinois and Iowa will recognize and accept valid sport fishing licenses of either state when legally possessed and used by hook-and-line anglers on the Mississippi River proper forming a common boundary between Illinois and Iowa, including its backwater lakes and sloughs contiguous with the flow of waters in the main channel; provided that you do not fish from or attach any device or equipment to the main bank of the Mississippi under the jurisdiction of the state where you are not licensed to fish.
You can not fish in any tributaries of the opposite state.
You must conform to the regulations of the state in which you are fishing unless the regulations of your licensing state are more restrictive, then you must conform with the more restrictive regulations.
The center of the navigation channel is the boundary between Illinois and Iowa.
Tournaments fishing Iowa waters must have Iowa tournament permits, even if launching from the Illinois side of the river.
Officers of Illinois and Missouri will recognize and accept valid sport fishing licenses of either state when legally possessed and used in the Mississippi River and its backwaters within the boundary of Missouri adjacent to the state of Illinois.
Persons licensed in only one state may also fish in the other state’s portion of any oxbow lakes through which the Illinois-Missouri boundary passes, and may fish from or attach any device or equipment to land under the jurisdiction of the other state.
Persons licensed in only one state may not fish in tributaries of the Mississippi in the other state. Anglers shall comply with the regulations of the state in whose waters they are fishing unless the regulations of their licensing state are more restrictive, then must comply with the more restrictive regulations.
The center of the navigation channel is considered the boundary between Illinois and Missouri, except where it is shown to be elsewhere.
Officers of Illinois and Indiana will recognize and accept valid sport fishing licenses of either state when legally possessed and used on the Wabash River forming a common boundary between Illinois and Indiana. Anglers shall not fish on water beyond the natural and ordinary river banks of the state in which they are not licensed to fish. Anglers shall not fish from land attached to or taxed by the state in which they are not licensed or fish in tributaries, bayous, or backwaters of the state. Anglers must abide by the laws of the state in which they are fishing.